California bill seeking to improve remediation placement approved by committee

Dive Brief:

  • AB 705, a bill that looks to curb the number of community college students ending up in remedial courses, was approved this week by the California Assembly's Committee on Higher Education, EdSource reports.
  • Under the bill, proposed by Democratic Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin, students wouldn't have to test into credit classes and would be allowed to enroll in them by default unless factors such as high school grades show they "are highly unlikely to succeed in them."
  • California has an estimated 80% of community college students needing at least one non-credit remedial English or math course, and Irwin pointed to research highlighting the number of students who don't last beyond remedial courses and how student success isn't accurately predicted by placement exams alone.

Dive Insight:

The need for remediation hinders students' college progress nationwide, but efforts to address it at the postsecondary level are often already far too late. To truly make an impact, higher ed institutions must find opportunities to collaborate with K-12  — especially local schools and districts — to ensure students are adequately prepared. In New York, Staten Island's Wagner College is working with neighboring Port Richmond High School to help expand higher ed access and preparation to its largely low-income student population that previously might not have considered college an option. Meanwhile, Rutgers University is working in a similar capacity with underserved students in Camden, NJ. And these are just two examples of this growing area of collaboration that not only improves opportunities for these students, but also boosts an institution's image in the community around it.

But for those students needing remediation and already at the higher ed level, co-requisite courses that allow them to gain credit for college-level work alongside remediation, often by participating in additional lecture time or tutoring, are one option colleges and universities are pursuing. The model has produced significant progress for schools in Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia, Indiana and Colorado, according to Complete College America's 2016 report, "Corequisite Remediation: Spanning the Completion Divide."

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Filed Under: Higher Ed Policy & Regulation
Top image credit: Wikimedia; Asilvero